Homemade hamburger buns

Yield: 16 Servings

Measure Ingredient
Stephen Ceideburg
3 cups All-purpose flour + additional for kneading
2 cups Whole-wheat flour
⅓ cup Toasted wheat germ
2 packs Active dry yeast
2 teaspoons Salt
¼ cup Solid vegetable shortening
2 cups Milk
¼ cup Sugar

Place 1½ cups each, all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour, the wheat germ, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer (preferably a heavy-duty one with a paddle attachment), briefly mix together the ingredients.

Melt the shortening in a saucepan over low heat. Add the milk and sugar and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is very warm, but no hotter than 130 degree F.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour milk mixture into flour mixture until blended. Increase to medium speed and beat for about 2 minutes.

Add ½ cup each of white flour and whole-wheat flour, and beat 2 minutes more. Add 1 cup white flour and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface about 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. (Use very little additional flour.) Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place until double in volume, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Gently punch down dough and divide into 4 equal portions. Divide each portion into fourths and let dough rest 5 minutes.

Form portions into balls and with fingertips fold edges under to form even circles. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Use your fingertips to flatten each bun to a 3-inch circle.

(If you prefer the sides of the buns to remain soft, place them closer together. As the buns rise, the sides will touch.) Cover with a towel and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Adjust rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. at least 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped lightly. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

(Or cool and freeze, well wrapped, for up to 1 week.) Makes 16

Hot dog buns. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll out each portion to a rectangle about 14 x 5 inches. Cut about eight 5 x 2-inch strips from each rectangle. Roll each portion, between your palms into 6-inch long buns. Place buns about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover loosely with a cloth towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake as directed for hamburger, buns.

Variation Wheat berry: Add ⅓ cup wheat berries and a dash of salt to 2 cups boiling water. Cover saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, cover, and let cool for about 1 ½ hours, or until tender. Drain and dry well. With wooden spoon, stir wheat berries into dough before kneading,

Variation Walnut: Toast ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts in a 325 degree F. oven about 10 minutes. Cool and with a wooden spoon stir into dough before kneading.

Variation Olive: Coarsely chop ⅓ cup pitted oil or brine- cured black or green olives. With wooden spoon (or paddle attachment and mixer at low speed) stir olives into dough before kneading.

Variation Sesame seed: After shaping buns, lightly brush tops with an egg white lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water. Sprinkle sesame seeds over glaze. Cover lightly with a towel and let rise before baking.

PER BUN (standard recipe): 205 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 283 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.

Flo Braker writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 6/9/93.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

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